Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter movement speaks at Old Dominion University

Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 23:19:51-05

Norfolk - The phrase "Black Lives Matter" has been chanted across the country and shared all over social media as a hashtag, but according to to one of the founders of the phrase, it alone is not responsible for starting a civil change.

"Hashtags don't start a movement, people do," explained Alicia Garza, co-founder of the movement.

On Tuesday, Garza took the stage at the Ted Constant Convocation Center as part of the President's Lecture Series. Garza says the movement started on Facebook in 2013 after hearing of George Zimmerman's acquittal. She says her letter ended simply by saying black lives matter and that resonated with thousands online.

"I wrote that letter to inspire a new freedom dream," said Garza. "If we could understand, if I could whisper to all of us that we were worthy then just maybe someone else would say it too."

While the movement started online, more than one hundred people came out to hear Garza speak about the movement she helped create.

"I thought it would be really interesting to hear her perspective especially since she is the original source," said Whitney Weireter, a former ODU student.

As for the campus, ODU Student Body President Christopher Ndiritu says he wanted Garza to come to campus for her message about love and inclusion.

"Having someone here who is all about respect and loving one another and being inclusive that is important to me and all of our students here at Old Dominion University," explained Ndiritu.

And hopes that  Garza's lecture doesn't end when the night is over.

"This is just one step we hope that after tonight it doesn't just stop here."